[The conflict in Syria has been the subject of much twisted coverage by the US and EU and its surrogates, by supporters of anti-US bourgeois nationalists, by partisans of Russian imperialism against US hegemonists, by advocates of the regional power of the Iranian Islamic Republic, and by “pragmatic opportunists” who wink at the role of Saudi Arabia/Bahrain/GCC. Many people, outraged at the mass suffering and mass killing of Syrian people, have been justifiably confused, especially as the issues have been distorted by imperialist and reactionary medias which serve these interests. And to confuse even more, many of the reactionary medias proclaim themselves as anti-imperialist, though careful reading reveals these to be promoting one reactionary power versus another.
We recently received the following statement and analysis of the situation in Syria from revolutionary Maoists in Brazil. Views of revolutionary internationalists have too rarely been heard on this issue, and so we present these views as a good counterpoint to the prevailing revisionist and reactionary accounts. We believe these comrades in Brazil have done significant groundwork toward the analysis needed.
There are some aspects of this analysis which require more work and debate, in our view. In particular, their argument that People’s War–if defined as China’s revolutionary military strategy–is universally applicable to all countries, is a view we do not share. Our understanding that the Maoist strategic conception of People’s War, (as summarized by the phrase, “surrounding the cities from the countryside”), only applies to feudal, semi-feudal, colonial and semi-colonial societies, where repressive power in the countryside is sufficiently weak that people’s revolutionary war, seizing and expanding significant liberated areas is an accurately applied historic strategem. In other countries, where reactionary state power is effectively deployed everywhere, a long period of amassing revolutionary political forces through primarily political , not military, struggle, must precede the armed struggle for state power. These general categories and strategies have often been taken literally, without detailed investigation and analysis, at great and disastrous cost to revolutionary forces. The need for detailed study of concrete conditions is especially indicated by the ongoing changes in capitalist-imperialist production, distribution, and state power–and the distribution and growth of people’s forces.
But some use the term People’s War, not in the sense of the “countryside-overtaking-city” strategem, but synonymous with people’s armed struggle for power in all variety of circumstance–as a statement of principle, in opposition to the revisionist and social-democratic notion of the “peaceful, electoral” road to power. In this sense, People’s War (where the masses take up the gun against reactionary power, and where the gun is led by revolutionary politics) is a universal revolutionary principle. — Frontlines ed.]
Proletarian and oppressed peoples of the whole world, united!
Statement of the Revolutionary Front in Defence of the People’s Rights, RFDPR, Brasil, on the present situation in Syria
DOWN THE IMPERIALIST ALLOTMENT IN SYRIA!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE’S WAR OF THE PEOPLES IN ALL COUNTRIES!
“The combat to imperialism and reaction without the inseparable combat to opportunism is nothing but empty phraseology”.
Lenin: “Imperialism and the splitting of socialism”.
The nation of Syria has been suffering a bloody imperialist plundering war in the shape of a civil war. Assad’s armed forces and the so-called free army of Syria are the contestants of this inter-imperialist dispute for the Syrian territory. Syria has been converted into a new treachery for the anti-imperialist world resistance and the newest enclave of the inter-imperialist struggles.
At the present conditions of this struggle development any result will not bring any advance for the Syrian people and nation; it will only deepen the imperialist dominance over the country and oppression on the people since until now an independent and organized intervention of the armed masses has lacked of a proletarian vanguard even very little constituted.
The March 2011 revolt was a spontaneous mass uprising against a fascist regime led by Bashar al Assad and it is part of an overwhelming wave of people’s rebellions that happened all over the North of Africa and Middle East. The mass rebellions awakened in those countries, despite being developed in an unconscious form and not having a proletarian leadership, have the same root: they are antifascist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist ones.
The revolt is a just rebellion against a bureaucratic comprador regime at the service of imperialism mostly Russian that has been controlled for decades by the Assad dynasty.
The Yankee imperialism has taken advantage from the situation, as for instance in all Arabic countries rebellions, manipulating the mass struggle, deviating them from the revolutionary path, to guarantee their interests in the region. The intelligentsia services for the imperialist coalition forces have formed and armed a mercenary army self-named Syria’s Free Army –SFA, directed commanded by their agents with the aim of changing the Syrian regime. Thus the USA wants to change the Russian control over Syria, breaking with the relationship with Hezbollah, surround and isolate Iran and prepare the grounds to attack it.
All this complex plan in the Middle East and North of Africa is part of a new war of imperialist plundering and allotment against the peoples. The Yankee imperialism, still being an unique and hegemonic superpower in the world, has declared its objective to create a map of a “New Middle East”, that is, a Middle East totally controlled by the USA, without the influence and interference of other imperialist powers and mostly without the people’s armed resistance of the masses.
The Yankee imperialism, amidst a deep and protracted crises, hit by the people of the world, mostly in the main front of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the people’s wars in India, the Philippines, Turkey and Peru, with its hegemony questioned by the inter-imperialist struggle, is more and more at the verge of an unprecedented war.
In this context, the events in Syria are firstly and mostly part of the contradiction between oppressed peoples/countries and imperialist powers; secondly, the inter-imperialist contradiction that could convert into the principal contradiction. This one happens through the dispute for the control of colonies and semi-colonies accumulating and being able to develop into a direct confront in the form of a new world imperialist war.
Assad: a fascist and lackey regime to imperialism
Assad and his regime have been praised by part of the opportunist and revisionist ‘left’ which has characterized them as a nationalist force, champions of anti-imperialism and democracy, opposed to the reactionary monarchies of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordania. Those revisionists are in accordance with the role played by the Syrian revisionists who in majority compose Assad’s regime through the so-called “Progressive Nationalist Front”.
The nature of the Syrian State and regime is not different from the other Middle East States (including the reactionary monarchies of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordania). All of them are semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries dominated by imperialism and its puppets, by the local big comprador-bureaucratic bourgeoisie and by the landownership. The differences between them are the form of government ( “democratic-liberal” regimes or definitely fascist ones) and submitted to the imperialism of Russia or the USA, therefore, not having any essential differences among them.
The Assad dynasty regime does not represent either the rise of the forces of the national bourgeoisie ( middle bourgeoisie). Bashar al Assad, like Muamar Kadafi from Lybia, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from Iran, represents the big local bourgeoisie, mostly its bureaucratic, lackey fraction and totally submitted to imperialism.
The Assad dynasty regime has its origin in the rise of the Baath party to power in 1963 and mostly with the coup d’État, in 1970, led by Hafez al Assad, Bashar’s father. Those events are inserted in the political context of the Third World movement and the Pan-Arabism led by David Gamal Nassar, from Egypt. Such a movement happened at the moment of the rise of the armed struggles for the national liberation in Africa, Asia and Latin America in 1950, 1960, 1970.
At that time, while the social-imperialist USSR and the USA disputed the rest of the world in their areas of dominance and influence, when they united to fight against revolution with the thesis on transition and peaceful coexistence, the socialist China motivated and supported the revolutionary forces all over the world. This situation created space so that the national classes forces could be risen and promoted a series of measures with a national-democratic character.
In general, those processes, for not having a proletarian leadership, were soon hegemonized by the big bureaucratic-comprador bourgeoisie, linked to the semi-feudal landownership, lackey to imperialism, betraying the democratic revolutionary demands of the masses and urging the bureaucratic capitalism’s reactionary bureaucratic road. After the liberation from the colonial dominance of the European powers they would pass to the semi-colonial dominance of the social-imperialist USSR that would grant them the false label of ‘socialist’, ‘popular’ or ‘anti-imperialist’, supported by the big bureaucratic-comprador bourgeoisie in alliance with the landownership.
The Hafez al Assad regime was only established after Nasser’s death with which it had disrupted years before besides getting rid of the left forces inside the Syrian Baath party. Such a change has meant the defeat of the national bourgeoisie stances and the supremacy of the right wing led by the big bureaucratic bourgeoisie already submitted to the Soviet social-imperialism interests.
To achieve prestige within the people, in 1968, just before the coup d’État, Hafez al Assad tried to show that the Baath Party was Marxist and supported the Palestinian people. However, Hafez was a general and a Defence Minister when Israel occupied the Golan Hills, in Syria, in 1967, and suspended all aid to the Palestinians. By the time of the Palestinian massacre in Jordania, the 1970 Black September, the Syrian Army watched passively the genocide against the Palestinian people. One month later, Hafez al Assad led a coup against the State and arrested all the leaders of the so-called Baath Party left-wing.
The Syrian Armed reactionary Forces, after the 1970 coup d’État, started playing a central role in the so-called ‘national construction’ for the new regime. The armed forces were the fundamental component for urging the bureaucratic capitalism. Unlike settling down sovereign and democratic regimes, a bureaucratic feudal fascist rule was established.
This process is the root of the ancient regimes in Libya under Kadafi, under Sadan Hussein in Iraq and under the Assad family, among others. Those processes did not destroy the landownership, did not confiscate the big bourgeoisie capital liberating those countries from the imperialist dominance; they just placed the big local bourgeoisie in the centre of the State apparatus power under the hegemony of one of its fractions, mostly the bureaucratic fraction ( the fraction more linked to the industry and the State apparatus) and always in alliance with the landownership, substituting the former European colonial dominance by the new semi-colonial dominance, mostly the social-imperialist USSR.
With the end of the social-imperialist USSR at the beginning of the 1990s, the inter-imperialist dispute has increased in Syria through the struggle within the big bourgeoisie. The Hafez al Assad regime initially approaches France and then the USA negotiating its interests through agreements with the new Yankee imperialist bosses that, with the end of the USSR, changed into the only hegemonic superpower. When there was the Iraq’s invasion by USA in the Gulf’s War,1991, during Bush (father) government that proclaimed the New World War, Hafez al Assad supported the Yankee invasion with Syrian troops.
Syria had converted at the time into a key point of the political stability in the region, since it served to imperialism as a way for controlling Lebanon occupied since 1974. And also for controlling the Palestinian resistance in the south of Lebanon (a region controlled by Hesbollah after the expulsion of the Zionists in 2000) where Syria played a double game as the south of Lebanon has never become a Palestinian resistance base.
With Bashar al Assad taking over the power in 2000, the comprador fraction of the big bourgeoisie strengthens itself and becomes hegemonic in the State management. Two years ago Bashar liberated the banking system and permitted other foreign banks to invest in Syria as well as the foreign enterprises to invest through the banks.
The new partition of Syria: a new chapter of the imperialist war
After the September 11thevent the Yankee imperialism started a new counterrevolutionary offensive of general character under the name of “War to Terror”. Among its objectives, as part of the partition and repartition of the world, is the idea of building a “new map of the Middle East”. Yankee imperialism has needed for a long time a new order in the region under their complete hegemony so that they could deepen and enlarge the plundering against the world peoples. For that it was necessary to remove the whole order of things in the region. Iraq’s invasion in 1991 and the Soviet revisionism action led by Gorbatchev turned out into the end of the social-imperialist USSR and marked the beginning of a counterrevolutionary offensive under a general character and convergent to imperialism and revisionism. An ideological anticommunist offensive was unleashed, the “End of Communism” and the “End of History” decreed, the armed revisionism taken through Latin America as a consequence of the capitulation of the “Peace Agreements” and heavy blows done to the revolution in Peru.
However, all this reactionary and counterrevolutionary tide was not enough for liquidating the imperialist condition in Russia that recovered in a relatively fast way. At the first decade of 2000 Russia reorganised itself economically and politically under its condition of a nuclear superpower and its petrol reserves. Russia resumed the active role played in the defence of its influence zones in the European East and Middle East and passed to the open retaliation of the Yankee hegemony in the world. Social-imperialist China penetrates in the huge areas of the Yankee influence in the Pacific, dominating commercially and economically, rivalling seriously with the USA in different parts of the planet. Thence, the need for the USA to unleash a new offensive and the “September 11th” event was the pretext for Iraq’s new invasion, throwing down Sadan regime, invading and occupying Afghanistan and declaring the “Endless War” to prepare the grounds for destabilizing the regimes out of their dominance.
According to the general NATO ex-commander, the North-American Wesley Clark, in November, 2001, an officer of the high command of the Army Forces, USA, informed that the aggression plans to Iraq had been discussed “ as part of a five year campaign plan and there was a total of seven countries involved, starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia and Sudan”.
Thus, two axes of inter-imperialist confront have been shaping: one, considering Russia, China, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela and others, partially organised under the Organization for Cooperation in Xangai; the other, USA, England, and other NATO countries.
In the Middle East, region where the dispute is happening in the battle field, Russian imperialism with the tacit agreement of China, and taking advantage of the complex contradictions in the area, has led a block with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah (Lebanon) and later Hamas to face the Yankee offensive in the region.
In the game of imperialist interests, Turkey has placed itself as a “Troy horse” playing, in the last years, a planned distance from Israel and working as an interlocutor for the Yankee imperialists in the area. This role has been crystal clear in the Syrian conflict. France has acted every time more actively with the Yankee imperialism not to be left out of the plundering.
Bashar al Assad has tried to establish secret channels with Israel, USA and Turkey. Assad wanted to betray Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah in exchange for support and stability. This was clear in Assad’s statement when “September 11th “ event occurred, mentioning that for him it created “a good opportunity; the need to cooperate was clear and of our interest. Besides a wonderful way to improve the relationship”. The USA used the same tactics with Kadafi, Libya, and did it frequently and largely with the Syrian dungeons for torturing prisoners in its “war to terror”.
The murder of the Lebanon Prime Minister, Hafik Hariri, was a water divisor for the plans of the Yankee intervention in Syria/Lebanon, no matter who was the murderer who favourished the imperialism plans. After Hariri’s death, Bush affirmed that Syria was out of the progress of the “new big Middle East”.
Assad tried to negotiate with the USA at all means. In accordance with information from the imperialist intelligence groups it was Assad who had given Kaddafi’s local to the intelligence services in France ( the satellite mobile phone Kaddafi used to communicate to Assad) that permitted his capture, torture and murder. Assad had done that in order to guarantee Syria’s stability for a while. He wants to negotiate everything and everybody to stay in power but his permanency does not interest the USA anymore that was confronted not by Assad and his regime but for the Russian influence in the region.
Vladimir Putin said, referring, during the celebrations of the victory over Nazi-fascism, in 2011, to the possibility of a new world imperialist war, this time against the USA, that Russia should be ready to accept a new sacrifice. The Russian president, Dimitri Medvedev, said that the Russians were not in the mood for a “Libyan solution” in Syria.
The farce of the “Free Army of Syria”
The intervention in Syria, similar to Libya, is inserted in the new model of the “asymmetric wars” in the concept of “Low Intensity War”. The USA, confronting a wave of peoples’s rebellions, could see an opportunity through a complex management of low intensity war and launch more smoke-screen and ‘legitimate’it as a mask for defence of democracy and human rights, one more aggression against the peoples, establishing new puppet regimes by justifying the nations’ domination and occupation.
Such a thing has been already happening in Syria through the false ‘Free Syrian Army’, commanded by Saudi Arabia officers ( in fact CIA agents) and financed by Qatar. The FSA receives weapons from different places from the NATO, in Adana, Turkey. All CIA intelligentsia and English M25 information are transmitted to the military Turkish command that repasses them to the FSA officers as the combat orders.
The preparation for a direct intervention has been done by a large training field organised in Jordania. The Eager Eagle Operation 2012 involves more than 12000 troops from 18 countries under the command of a general of the US Especial Forces (US Defence News, May 15th ,2012). Those forces have the double objective to encourage the intern opposition forces and announce to the other powers the real possibility for a direct intervention.
The conclusion about the situation in Syria will be crucial for the domination plans of the Yankee imperialism. The USA has been planning the following: either Russia accepts to reduce its influence in the country or it will be without no one. Although a tendency for Russia to surrender to the Yankee offensive could prevail, such events would be inserted in the large context for the accumulation for the III World imperialist War.
Defeat the imperialist war with the People’s War
Amidst the deep and protracted imperialist crises and the new plundering wars, the Yankees, mostly, lead the world to an unprecedented militarization. The imperialists in a desperate tentative to overcome it cannot but deepen the fundamental contradiction of the period, the contradiction between nations-oppressed peoples and imperialist powers, the contradiction between the different imperialist countries and the contradiction between proletariat and bourgeoisie, being the first one the principal.
Chairman Mao said: “The imperialism law means to provoke disturbances and fail, again to provoke disturbances and again fail, and to provoke disturbances until the final overthrow. The people’s law for its turn is to fight and fail, fight again and fail and fight again until the final triumph”.
And the question of the struggle against imperialism creates two crucial problems for its consequent accomplishment and mostly for its victory. The first one is related to its leadership, its class character necessarily proletarian, as chairman Mao has presented: “Every revolution history proves that with no leadership of the working class the revolution will fail and with the leadership of the working class the revolution will triumph. At the imperialism time no other class in any country could lead the real revolution to victory. It proves it the fact that all the various revolutions led by the petty-bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie have failed.” (About the people’s democratic dictatorship). The second problem is related to how to educate the people’s masses through the revolutionary path, the fight against opportunism. The history of the revolutions all over the world, theirs victories and defeats show clearly Lenin’s statement that to combat imperialism and reaction without combat inseparably opportunism is nothing but empty phraseology.
Although the people’s rebellions in Africa and Middle East lack a proletarian leadership, those struggles are part of the class struggle fire and create a favourable atmosphere so that their revolutionary vanguards come up and are forged. It is necessary that the revolutionaries of the whole world have as their duty to unmask the management of the opportunism/populism (among so many governments like: Assad, Kadafi, PLO, Cristina Kishner, Chávez, Morales, Correa, Dilma/Lula,etc. To rise the anti-imperialist struggle and strengthen the worker-peasant alliance, combating imperialism and all reaction as well as their managers, being from the declared right, being either the ‘left’ façade, ‘socialist’ or ‘people’s’ and the whole opportunism.
The experience of the recent Arabic people’s revolts, as well as the regimes of Sadam, Kadafi and Assad, have proved the truth that without fighting revisionism and opportunism, the struggle against imperialism and their lackeys is just a mere game that cannot forge the real revolutionary mass movement, transforming those revolts in easy preys for the reaction manipulation. The experience of the recent Arabic people’s rebellions have proved the truth that without destroying the old State machinery, mostly the armed forces, and building up a new State for New Democracy through the organized armed masses into a people’s guerrilla army and supported by the large mass mobilization in a revolutionary unique front, that will reunite the revolutionary classes which shape the huge majority of the nation – it is impossible to settle any change.
That means: without a revolutionary proletarian vanguard to lead all that process, any mass movement, the more radical and violent it can be, will be inclined to capitulate its leadership and doomed to failure. This is the main point and without it no revolutionary process can advance.
And for that it is necessary to constitute and/or reconstitute Marxist-Leninist-Maoist communist parties, militarized, developing a people’s guerrilla army, supported by a unique front of workers, peasants, small and middle bourgeoisie, to wage the protracted People’s War for defeating the power of landownership, the big bourgeoisie and imperialism, founding in the whole country a People’s Republic for a New Democracy, going to socialism by successive proletarian cultural revolutions and towards the bright communism.
“Either the revolution conjures the imperialist war or the imperialist war conjures the revolution”! Chairman Mao Tsetung
Down the revisionism and all opportunism!
Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!
Imperialism and all reactionaries are paper tigers!
Down the imperialist war!
Long Live the People’s War!
Revolutionary Front for Defence of Peoples’ Rights
Brasil, January 2013